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The 5th Cyprus Professional Services Conference
18 September 2013, Hilton Park, Nicosia
The Future of Cyprus as an International Business Centre and the Future of the Cypriot Professional Services.
Can the sector face the challenges and remain Competitive?
The Professional Services Sector unite in an international effort to restore the damaged reputation of Cyprus
Why the Professional Services Sector should still be Cyprus' main driver for economic growth
Why Cyprus' potential has not changed, despite the setbacks connected to the bailout
The 5th Professional Services Conference aims to bring together all the Professionals of the international business sector to devise, agree and commit to a strategy to reestablish the reputation of Cyprus as an International Business Center
Making Cyprus Competitive Again
"The professional services sector has driven the economic prosperity of Cyprus during the past two decades. With the proper handling, its role can become even more substantial."
GOLD Magazine, Issue 22, January 2013
Cyprus, for the past 15 to 20 years, has been the main center for professional services in the Eastern Mediterranean, linking Europe, North Africa, and Middle East. The financial and business services sector has been a main driver of the economy and source of employment for the past few decades and, with traditional industries in decline and some years to wait before our energy resources can be commercially exploited, it has to be the main driver of our recovery.
Cyprus is now facing the largest financial and economic crisis after the Turkish invasion in 1974. This crisis has damaged the image of the island's financial institutions, as well as its reputation of an international business center.
Cyprus' potential has not changed, despite the setbacks connected to the bailout.
The advantage of Cyprus as a jurisdiction over our direct competitors – Malta, Luxemburg, and Ireland – have to do with the low corporate tax rate (despite the proposed increase), the excellent network of double tax treaties, as well as a number of other benefits related to an efficient tax system (corporate income tax exemption for capital gains and dividends, and no withholding tax on interest payments and dividends). Another important advantage of Cyprus though is the excellent human capital that we possess, with highly-educated professionals working in the field of law, accounting (audit and taxation), as well as other corporate services.
Cyprus success in business services has been built on our robust and transparent legal system based on Anglo-Saxon law, our accounting and bookkeeping sector which adheres to international standards and our comprehensive banking and financial services. Since it is clear that our banking sector is to be severely scaled down we shall have to find other means of meeting the international clients' needs in this last regard. There are no rigid requirements as to where Cyprus companies, trusts or other entities should maintain their bank accounts, and it is perfectly feasible for them to operate bank accounts with any bank in Cyprus or, indeed, elsewhere.
The Cyprus Government in partnership with the professionals must act quickly to protect the sector during this difficult period for Cyprus, and at the same time devise and implement a strategy to develop it. The country must make a decision that this is the most important sector of our economy and put in place the necessary legislative and other changes necessary to regain its competitiveness.
The 5th Professional Services Conference aims to bring together all the Professionals of the international business sector to devise, agree and commit to a strategy to reestablish the reputation of Cyprus as an International Business Center.
Organized by: IMH